Gas Turbines/Technical Support Engineer, Air New Zealand
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Mechanical Engineering
He loves having a career that is both challenging and rewarding, says AUT engineering alumnus Danny Blakeman who now works as an engineer for Air New Zealand.
“In this role, I am tasked to provide technical solutions and direction to assist the complexities involved with carrying out heavy maintenance and repair work of General Electric aero-derivative gas turbine engines. Our customer base comes from all parts of the globe, where the gas turbine engines are used for a multitude of applications such as oil and gas platforms, commercial and military marine vessels, and power generation.
“What I love most about this career is being able to work on an engineering marvel. Gas turbines are extremely complex and are used for an array of interesting applications. Not one day is the same, every challenge is unique due to the large range of variables and the precise tolerances that these engines are built and operate with.”
Finding his passion
After growing up in a rural community and attending Piopio College, Danny first discovered his passion for engineering when he completed a level 2 national certificate in mechanical engineering through another tertiary provider.
“For me, this experience sparked a strong passion for engineering practices, and I became eager to take on the challenge of building my understanding and dive deeper into the mechanical engineering field.”
He soon realised that AUT would be the right university to study engineering.
“When I was on the hunt for a university that checks all the boxes, it became clear that AUT has a fast growing, good reputation. Coming from a small rural school, at first I found the transition to AUT a bit daunting, but I was quickly won over by the overall approach and atmosphere of AUT.”
Creating world-ready graduates
His AUT experience had many highlights, says Danny who graduated in August 2019.
“This included building good friendships with fellow students and with my lecturers through the multiple group projects and assignments. I also thoroughly enjoyed making the most of the wide range of world-class technology I could access as an AUT student.
“My advice to future students would be to make the most of being at AUT and its vast range of technology. Be proactive and push through the hard times; and never fear to leap at opportunities.”
In his career now, he constantly draws on skills he developed through his studies.
“AUT has given me the ability to think outside the box. I leverage the technical knowledge I’ve gained to tackle challenging issues that I face at work. Studying engineering is challenging but rewarding. The knowledge that you gain not only provides a strong foundation to support your career, but it also equips you with a powerful toolset for everyday challenges that you face in life.”